This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer.tv is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops. Also by Reconyx, Trophy Rock, Gallagher, Muddy Outdoors, Eagle Seed, Nikon, Winchester Ammunition, Redneck Hunting Blinds, Derby City Turkey Calls, Ansmann, and Antler Dirt.
GRANT: It’s Tuesday, June 14th, and another exciting week here at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: We happen to be in a little belt where it’s rained south of us and north of us, but no rain here, so we’re kind of stalled on some of our normal food plot activities this time of year, but that doesn’t mean there’s not other work to be going on. As a matter of fact, we’ve been doing some coyote hunting, not only here, but on other properties in the area, and I went out with Thomas last week to try a few hayfields east of here, over by Ava, Missouri.
GRANT: We get to what’s probably gonna be our last calling spot of the evening, and it just had that right feeling, and it’s a huge hayfield on top of a ridge, so good visibility. Thomas says he sees some movement. Of course, we hit the deck and come back up with the Nikons, sure enough, it’s a coyote.
GRANT: We get all set up and let that FoxPro do some screaming, and we play that for 10 minutes, or so, and he’s in and out of view, but he’s right on the horizon, moving and also sitting some, but not a safe shot at all. I don’t know what’s over the horizon, and shooting on the horizon is never a safe shot, because there could be someone working, or a house. You don’t know where the bullet’s going. You don’t ever want to take a shot, no matter how much you want to shoot game, like I like to shoot coyotes, if you don’t know where that bullet’s stopping.
GRANT: Circles down below us, actually, just 60 yards or so away, and starts answering that challenge howl, just barking, barking, barking. Gets so dark, there’s no chance for a shot, certainly, no chance to film. So I stand up and looked over just the edge of the ridge, and he’s up there jumping, trying to see over. Now, this old coyote wasn’t gonna expose himself. You know folks, we did not bring any fur home. We didn’t help the farmer out, but there’s some great lessons here. It’s easy to get permission to coyote hunt. Usually, much easier than getting permission to deer hunt. You can do a great service to the farming community by going out and actually harvesting coyotes, especially around their calving operation, and you show – you shut gates, and you’re respectful, and you’re safe, and you make good shot selections, and I bet those doors will open up for deer hunting later on. But you got to start doing some work. Pay the farmer first, and then, he’ll reward you, likely, by allowing you to deer hunt. This has been a great system for me. Do some community service, and let the community pay you back by giving you permission to hunt. Hey, you know what? Being a predator hunter, and refining your skills by hunting predators, makes you a much better prey hunter. If you can be a good coyote hunter, you can be a great deer hunter. Go out this summer, call some coyotes in.
GRANT: Whitetails need a huge amount of water right now. They have water to transfer those minerals, those antlers growing, and mothers making milk for the fawns. When deer spend a huge amount of energy just searching for water that’s not a good thing. June should not be a horribly dry month, so water’s a real limiting factor on a lot of deer herds throughout the United States, right now. We’re all praying for rain.
GRANT: We’ve got a few plots, here at The Proving Grounds, where we had a corn failure, once again this year. Now, some of the plots look good. Some of them are medium, and some of them are, obviously, replants, and it’s getting on into June here. We’d like to re-plant, but we got to remember that seeds are living organisms and it’s got to have water. When I take my soil probe, and I test the first two, three, or four inches, there’s literally no moisture because we’re in a drought. So even though the calendar’s clicking away and we need to be planting, we simply can’t plant until a) we want to get a rain and get some moisture in the dirt, and then, hopefully, get another rain behind it, or b) there’s a massive front from the Gulf, all the way to Canada. But just spotty showers of 20, 30, 40 percent chance, no way I’m gonna risk all the expense, or mine, or Brad’s time, and the seed, and diesel fuel, and wear and tear, to plant in these drought conditions.
GRANT: Elevated blinds can be extremely effective tools to take hunters out, or to video out of, but you can’t pop those babies up a week before you want to hunt out of ‘em, because the old mature deer are going, “Boy, I don’t remember that guard tower in my backyard. I’m gonna avoid that.” So, we want to get those babies out in June, or July at the latest, and let the deer get totally conditioned to that new furniture in their living room.
GRANT: Deer patterns will likely change between now and when you want to hunt this fall. Whether it’s early season, or during the rut, or even post season, ‘cause food sources will change. The-is the farmer gonna harvest crops, is there gonna be acorns, are they early season white oaks, or late season red oaks, are you hunting a bedding area? All these things are to be taken into consideration before you move something big, like an elevated blind. Get a stable ladder, like a step ladder, that will elevate you safely about the same height as the windows of the blind. Then, you can take the ladder all around the property and try different angles of positions where you might want to locate your elevated blind. And that’s such a time saver and a great tool that will make your fall much more enjoyable.
GRANT: One thing about The Proving Grounds, the food plots are even so steep, I’m up 14 feet and I can barely see where deer would be walking at the back of the plot.
GRANT: This is the hole, right here. People think we have interns to educate them and help us do actual field work but really, it’s just young, fresh bodies to gather ticks, because we’re getting plenty this morning.
GRANT: I don’t know how many times we’ve repositioned the ladder, but it’s a bunch. You know sometimes 10 feet, sometimes one foot at a time, but we’ve settled right here because I can cut a great shooting lane all the way over to the hardwoods to the east here. A great shooting lane to the southeast; got the food plot in front of us. I’m actually looking at two food plots way out of range, on ridges (inaudible), so I can be hunting here, when my father, kids, whatever, and scouting bow hunting spots over there, so we love it. There’s a little road comes through our property back here. We can slide down that road with any kind of south, or west wind, even a little bit of northwest wind. Cut a little entrance trail right here through the locust trees and get in this stand totally undetected. So food source, bedding area, approach a lot of days with the wind in our favor. Right here is where we’re putting our Redneck Blind.
GRANT: Now, I’ll put these elevated blinds right smack dab on the edge of a sanctuary or bedding area – knowing we’re only gonna hunt it a day or two during Missouri’s short gun season. But that can be a super productive day or two for my dad, or my children. When you set up a sanctuary, have in mind, if you’ve got a special guest that you really want them to have success, to get you a shooting lane right in that bedroom area and don’t over violate it. Hunt there, just on the edge of it, not in the middle, and if you happen to harvest a deer, get in, get out, pull it out. It can provide one of your special guests a tremendous memorable hunting opportunity.
HUNTER: …walked that whole glade over to here, and I walked that whole point down to the creek. And then, the other time, I walked up that side, and …
GRANT: Now, we’ve still got water and it’s a little cloudy this morning. Hopefully, there’s a chance of rain coming, but the forecast is horrible. Next three or four days is just that blazing sun showing on the forecast and heat warnings going out. It’s a tough time of year and the antlers and fawns are really impacted by distress. This is why we manage our native vegetation and create ponds deep enough to hold water through a drought, for these times of years. Well, something else you need to think about in your future deer seasons, go ahead and harvest some does if you think that population is getting a little high, ‘cause you may have plenty of food in good growing conditions but when conditions get tough that deer herd can rapidly get above that food source and do years of damage at a time. You can bet, Brad and I be take some does this fall here at The Proving Grounds, based on the camera survey and how much food we have right now in a stress period. You want to manage deer for the lowest hole in the bucket, or the most stressful time of year, not in time of plenty.
GRANT: Get out this weekend and check out the forage on your Proving Grounds and see where you need to be this year on your doe harvest quota. Take a look this weekend and see what the growing conditions are at your Proving Grounds. Hey, thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: Does your partner in crime land at 9:00?
GRANT: It’s 8:00. You’re gonna be late, now.